Since 2010, Mr. Blair has served as the business end of the fusion startup Convergent Scientific Inc. This company raised $200,000 to develop a fusion prototype in Bellingham, Washington. In our interview, we talk about the challenges associated with raising venture capital in fusion research.
In 2017, Mila Aung-Thwin co-directed the film “Let There Be Light,” a documentary about fusion research. The film followed work done at ITER, General Fusion and Focus Fusion. In our interview, we focused on his impressions of fusion research as an outsider, the scope of the film and communicating fusion to the public. Mila points out that most people have never heard of the research behind fusion, nor the people involved in the effort. Mr. Aung-Thwin co-founded EyeSteelFilm, a Montreal-based film studio, in 2000. He has produced more than 25 feature documentaries, including “Up the Yangtze.”
Dr. George Miley is a professor emeritus at the University of Illinois. He has devoted his career to finding breakthroughs in fusion research. Over the past five decades, he has worked on a wide variety of approaches. Dr. Miley is most proud of his support for more than fifty doctoral candidates while at the University of Illinois. Our interview touches on a diverse set of topics, including: fission pumped lasers, Russian espionage, inertial confinement fusion, field reversed configurations, basic plasma theory and direct conversion. Dr. Miley also was nice enough to share personal stories about other famous fusion researchers. His current research is focused on an inertial electrostatic-based space engine. Dr. Miley got his bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from Carnegie Institute of Technology and received his master's and doctorate degrees from the University of Michigan in 1959. He met his wife, Liz, at Michigan and they now live in Illinois.